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Asbury Equine Program participates in National Police Horse Colloquium

From staff reports

Asbury University’s equine program participated for its 12th year in the National Mounted Police Horse Colloquium last month at the 34th annual colloquium at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

During the event, Asbury equine students were given the opportunity to showcase their training. Asbury students also engaged in clinics with mounted police departments from all over the continent which included departments from Lexington, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Detroit and Vancouver, Canada. Representatives from Israel were also in attendance.

The event offers Asbury-trained horses to be exhibited to the participating departments. Through the service mount program, police departments are then able to meet and potentially purchase Asbury’s trained mounts.

In addition to practical experience gained at the event, equine students serve as volunteers throughout the week and performed tasks to make the event run smoother.

“Those Asbury students are so knowledgeable and so very helpful,” an officer from Oakland County in Michigan was overheard saying at the event. “We love those students here every day in those purple Asbury shirts.”

The university released a statement saying through the event, by exercising servant leadership, Asbury students are able to give back to those who provide security and protection to them. A group of Asbury students, in conjunction with the Wilmore Police Department, served dinner to visiting officers Wednesday night during the week’s event.

Mayor of Wilmore, Equestrian Director and professor Harold Rainwater said, “It’s our way to serve those who serve us.”

The service mount program offered at the university is the only one of its kind in the nation as Asbury is currently the only university in the country to offer a service horse training program conducted by students.

Horses are specially trained through the program, which prepares them for use by police departments in the U.S. and Canada. The horses are trained by students, who are also being prepared for their future careers through hands-on work in the program. Horses become available for sale once they are 3 years old.

“Asbury exists to train students, not horses,” Rainwater said. “People have jobs because of Asbury — what they learn is unbelievable.”

Students at the university are also pleased with the education they are receiving because of the program.

“I couldn’t even imagine not being in service mounts,” Asbury student Kiana Casto said. “I feel (like I’m really) a part of the equine program and love growing as a trainer and in a relationship with my horse and fellow trainers.”

To learn more about Asbury University’s Equine major visit asbury.edu/equine.  To learn more about the Police Horse Training program visit https://www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/science-health/hper/equine-center/programs/police-horse-training/.